Guest Post: The Great Ice Sculpture Scavenger Hunt

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I am excited to share a series of guest posts with you by other Artful Parents and teachers while I step back from the blog a bit this month! I hope you enjoy the new perspectives, different ideas, and fresh energy that each brings to this space. And I encourage you to leave a comment after the post to continue the discussion, add your own viewpoint, or simply say thanks!

Guest Post by Gabriela Klimes

Guest post - Ice Sculptures 2 - g.klimesWe live in Winnipeg, Canada. Winters are cold in these parts. Really cold. So it is admittedly quite an effort to get my preschooler and toddler outside this time of year. But I think it's important and so I try to find fun ways to get fresh air, sunshine, and exercise outdoors, even in the dead of winter. This led me to plan an outdoor, snowy scavenger hunt for my two girls.

(Full disclosure: This sort of play is almost always followed by steaming homemade hot cocoa.)

Guest post - Ice Sculptures 1 - g.klimes

One morning a couple of weeks ago, we gathered up 3.5-year-old Sadie's summer sand toys to use as molds for ice sculptures.  We colored water using Wilton’s Gel Icing Colors (though any food coloring would work) and then poured the colored water into the molds. Next, we put the molds into the freezer and went about our day. By late afternoon, the molds were ready.

During the girls’ nap, I removed the molds (a little warm water helped) and hid them throughout our backyard. Once the girls were up, I got them bundled up and out we went for our Great Ice Sculpture Scavenger Hunt!

Guest post - Ice Sculptures 3 - g.klimes

The hunt was a hit. Sadie had a blast running around the yard looking for our sculptures. She delighted in uncovering the bright and bold the shapes against crisp, white snow. I loved that the activity combined a little craft and exercise. There’s no doubt we’ll do this one again before winter’s end.

For a delicious warm-up after your own hunt, try homemade hot cocoa. My recipe calls for 3 cups of milk, 1/3 cup of water, 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons of honey. I finish it with mini marshmallows and a sprinkle of cinnamon. The kids love how rich and chocolaty it is. I love that I can control the type and amount of sweetener. Enjoy!

G.Klimes Headshot colourGabriela Klimes is kept busy by her two young daughters, Sadie (3.5) and Danica (1.5). The family lives and plays in Winnipeg, Canada.

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  1. Barbara Zaborowski says

    Ah, this is not possible here in Phoenix, Arizona. I love Phoenix, but wish there was a way to arrange for a few cold, snowy days each year to paint the snow, do ice sculptures, and have a scavenger hunt like this one. We do ice sculptures every year, but my students have to look fast because they melt in less than an hour on the coldest of days.

  2. Jessica says

    Great idea. We also fill balloons with various colours too, freeze and add them to the tops of snow forts and around the yard. I like your idea of using the sand toys for shapes. I will try that next time. Just an idea, but I think you should have written Winnipeg, Manitoba. You can’t assume that all Americans don’t know that Canada has provinces, right? :-)

  3. Gabriela Klimes says

    :) I didn’t, Jessica. Was going back and forth about saying Winnipeg, Canada; Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and Winnipeg, Manitoba. :)

  4. says

    Excellent idea! This is perfect for us in snowy Upstate NY. I like Jessica’s idea of the frozen balloons too, though I’d need more room in my freezer for that. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Kristin @ says

    I love this idea! I am from Winnipeg originally (so imagine my surprise when I saw your guest post on my favourite blog!)We visit occaisionally in the winter and I will have to keep this project in mind the next time we do. Thanks!

  6. Maya says

    we do this this (both with molds and balloons) and play with the frozen creations in the bathtub.

  7. says

    Love this! (And loving all of the guest posts.) Thanks Jean for hosting, what fun to see what all your readers are doing.